Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Fancy Pants (Texas Historical Series #1) by Cathy Marie Hake

When Britisher Lady Sydney Hathwell's father dies, the American who planned to wed her suddenly reneges. Stranded in America and penniless, Sydney contacts a relative in Texas who, mistaking her male-sounding name, invites his "nephew" to join him on his ranch. "Big Tim" Creighton, however, is appalled when this mincing fop arrives at Forsaken. He determines he'll turn Fancy Pants Hathwell into a man before the boss returns home. From the get-go, he has "the kid" mucking stalls, clearing and plowing a field, and assisting with a difficult calving. But when Sydney's true identity is uncovered, Tim resents being deceived. Yet in time, he also finds that he doesn't like all the attention Sydney garners now that she's wearing pretty gowns...Together Sydney and Tim will discover the importance of family and what it means to be a man--and a woman--of God.

~Owned as Kindle eBook; 382 pages~

"Velma came over, got up on tiptoe, and whispered, 'Big Tim, put Sydney down. It'll save time when you have to punch that man in the nose.'"

Pretty much this entire book was a roar and just about every sentence killed me, especially when Miss Fancy Pants up there was dressed as a boy. Every single time Big Tim threatened Sydney or chopped off her hair, every time one of the farm hands threw her into the whorehouse (as a boy) or forced her to drink beer, I was just waiting for the moment the truth came out and everyone would start treating Syd like she should be treated. After the truth comes out though, everyone's reaction was exactly as expected. Everyone's but Tim's, that is.

I've been reading a lot of Christian and Historical Fiction lately and so thought I'd get bored of this soon enough (I can never read the same genre too many times in a row). However, right from the start, this book kept me hooked. Starting from when readers first meet Syd's supposed-to-be, SOB (excuse the language) husband, up until the very happiest of ever afters, this romantic journey was a delight to behold. I found myself constantly glaring and muttering during the first half of the book, and then laughing and outright bawling non-stop during the second half. That proved to be a problem, what with me pretending to be asleep under the covers and all. I've been known to stay up late reading, but this book kept me up 'till 4 in the morning! If that doesn't tell you what an amazing book this was, I don't know what will.

I know lots of people have problems with books that preach, and this one certainly does. I suppose that's why it's shelved under Christian Fiction (note the sarcasm please). If it's not obvious from the cover and the synopsis that this is a book for Godly folks - or at the very least, God-tolerating folks - I hope I was able to clear that up. I know you don't want to hear about my thoughts on the religious aspect of this book, so I'm going to make this short. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with Tim's POV that everyone is a sinner, and that no matter how many mistakes you make, God will forgive you and you'll go to Heaven (I agree with the former and have doubts on the latter). Still, Tim's thoughts about God definitely had me thinking harder than I ever did that early in the morning. I know I've said this before, but it never ceases to amaze me how much more I understand about God when reading these types of books than compared to when I read the Bible.

The romance was for sure my favorite part of the book, though it seemed a miracle how quickly Tim went from hating Syd and believing her a manipulative devil, to being a loving, possessive hulk of a man. It was cute, but personally, I don't think it really happens that way. I do have a weak spot for alpha men though, so it was quite easy to forgive Big Tim for all his mishaps;) This is the first book I've read by Cathy, and I can truthfully say I'll be looking forward to reading even more of her books. Possibly all of her books.

Here's a little sneak-peak at a very interesting conversation about eggs. You really won't want to miss out on this.

“We’re having eggs for supper.”
Tim shot her an accusing look. “Just eggs. No brains. Apparently someone gave half of them to Pancake for the cowboys’ breakfast, and the other half went home with the Smiths. Would you know anything about that?”
She didn’t bother to smother her smile. “Why, Mr. Creighton, it’s a pity Velma isn’t here to be a witness.”
“Afraid I’m going to strangle you?”
She shook her head. “You’d never hurt me. But it’s not often a man confesses he’s brainless.”
He gave her an outraged look. “For that, Fancy Pants, I’m going to burn your eggs.”
“You would have burned them, regardless.” She held the coffeepot beneath the pump and started to fill it.
“I happen to be quite adept at making eggs.”
“I thought hens laid eggs. You don’t look like a hen to me.” She paused a moment. “I haven’t figured out something, though. How do you know whether the egg is for eating or hatching?”
“You don’t.” Tim held up an egg. His huge hand dwarfed it. “You take your chances.”
“You cannot be serious!” Her voice reflected her horror.
Tim shrugged. Turning toward the pan, he changed his hold on the egg. “Why do you think Velma mixes brains with the eggs?”
“You are perfectly dreadful, Mr. Creighton.”

Title: Fancy Pants
Author: Cathy Marie Hake
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Released September 1, 2007
Genre: Christian Fiction

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